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Junior captain answered fans’ questions Wednesday

COLUMBUS, Ohio Ashley Hughes, a junior captain on the Ohio State women’s volleyball team, held a live online chat on OhioStateBuckeyes.com to answer fans’ questions Wednesday.

A native of Carroll, Ohio, Hughes was voted co-captain of the Buckeyes in 2008. As of Nov. 19, the 5-foot, 11-inch setter has played in 23 matches for Ohio State this season, starting in 14. On the season, Hughes is averaging 6.52 assists per set and has recorded 47 kills.

Ohio State closes out its regular season at home with conference matches at 7 p.m. vs. Penn State and Indiana Friday and Saturday, respectively, in St. John Arena. This weekend, the Buckeyes look to spread the holiday spirit by collecting new toys in collaboration with Community Kitchen, Inc.’s Christmas Eve Party. For the toy drive, Community Kitchen has asked Ohio State fans, friends and family to donate new, unopened gifts for boys and girls between late childhood and preteen.

Afterwards, the Buckeyes will wrap and deliver the presents as a team to the nonprofit center on South Ohio Avenue in Columbus.

OhioStateBuckeyes.com::  

Welcome to Ashley’s chat. Please post your questions for her here.

OhioStateBuckeyes.com::  

Ashley is here so we will go ahead and begin.

Terri Baldwin: Dublin:  

Who is the center?

Ashley::  

In volleyball, there is no position called center, instead we have middle hitters. We have two, Kelli Barhorst and Kristen Dozier.

Mom: Carroll, Ohio:  

Describe what it feels like to be a student-athlete at The Ohio State University. We are so proud of you and the team; GO BUCKS!!!

Ashley::  

Well, we stay very busy but overall it is a privilege. We have everything we could need around us, including a study center, medical staff and strength and conditioning staff. I feel very lucky to be a student-athlete here.

Dan: Worthington:  

After your senior season next year, when you look back on your four-year volleyball career, how will you complete this thought: I know my four years were successful because I…….

Ashley::  

Because I … know that I was capable of playing at the highest level possible. I know that I was the best player I could have been and tried my hardest all four years. I will have accomplished many things and overcame many things that I am proud of.

Joyce Cox: Canton, Ga.:  

Hi Ashley, it’s Grandma, I cannot wait to see you on Thanksgiving. How many games do you have left? See you Thursday. Love you Grandma

Ashley::  

Hi Grandma!!! Our last two games are this Friday and Saturday. I hope you will all still be in town for the matches. I am excited for Thanksgiving!

Stacey: RussellsPoint:  

Hi Ashley, it’s the Holycross family. We are wondering what you do to keep motivated in such a trying season? We love you and we’ll see you Friday. Have a great Turkey Day!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Ashley::  

We as a team have really turned to each other this season and taken it one day at a time. We make sure at every practice we are improving some aspect of our game.

Laura: Cincinnati:  

My younger sister played volleyball all through high school but isn’t playing in college. How tough is it to get into college volleyball?

Ashley::  

That really depends on the school and the situation she finds herself in. If she is seriously interested she should set up a meeting with the coach and begin working out on her own so she can get in shape. This kind of thing is not impossible. In general, it was competitive being recruited into college volleyball. There were thousands of girls every weekend at tournaments trying to be seen by college recruiters. I personally sent my information out to colleges to make sure I was noticed.

Tim: Powell:  

Who is the best athlete you’ve played with in your career?

Ashley::  

My freshman year here at OhioState, Stacey Gordon was an assistant to our team. She often scrimmaged with us and pushed me to become a better player.

Erica: Cleveland:  

With a new coaching staff, what were some of the biggest changes in the 2008 gameplan?

Ashley::  

There were a lot of changes made. Some of the biggest would be putting a focus on our team culture and who we wanted to be as OhioState’s volleyball program.

Kevin: South Bend, Ind.:  

Why do you think there aren’t as many men’s volleyball team at the collegiate level?

Ashley::  

That’s a good question because I really enjoy watching the men play. I think one reason would be because volleyball started as a women’s sport and it is still growing on the men’s side.

Monica: Columbus, Ohio:  

When your opponent has the momentum in a game, what’s the best way to steal it back for your team?

Ashley::  

The first option would be to make a great play such as an ace or a kill. The second option is to slow the game down in any way possible, including time outs, wiping the floor, team huddles, etc.

Hanna: Bexley:  

Will you have a chance to spend Thanksgiving with your family? Do you have to be carefully with what you eat because you are still competing this weekend?

Ashley::  

Yes, I am going home for Thanksgiving. We have practice tomorrow morning then I will be with my family the rest of the day. The only thing I am watching about my eating is the quantity. I want to be able to move on Friday.

Jeff: Oxford, Ohio:  

Does volleyball continue for you after college? What are your plans for the future?

Ashley::  

Volleyball will never really end for me. I hope to find a competitive league to play in after college. I am in business school currently so I hope to be in the work force after college.

Emily: Cincinnati:  

What’s your favorite side dish at Thanksgiving dinner?

Ashley::  

I’m going to go with mashed potatoes but you have to have the gravy.

Mom: Carroll, Ohio:  

Will our favorite hockey player be joining us for dinner?

Ashley::  

The hockey team will be with their “hockey family” for Thanksgiving so he will not be in attendance. Thanks for your concern.

OhioStateBuckeyes.com::  

Well, that’s it for Ashley. Thanks for all the questions.